From Burberry's first see-now, buy-now show to Anya Hindmarch's cool circular set design, a roundup of what went down in the British fashion capital.
With the blink of an eye, London Fashion Week is over.
This season was particularly interesting for the British city; it was the first time London-based designers showcased their collections post-Brexit. Though many were disappointed with Britain's decisive vote to leave the EU, they didn't let the outcome affect their creativity. Neither did they show signs of losing hope.
"We'll have to see how it goes in six months after there has been more action," Mulberry creative director Johnny Coca told Pret-a-Reporter backstage after presenting his second collection for the British luxury bag maker on Sunday. "I would say, 'Let's see,' because sometimes people would say, 'that's a disaster,' but let's take time to see what happens and then we can figure it out."
The referendum result wasn't what shoe designer Sophia Webster wanted either, but she remains hopeful with UK's new prime minister, Theresa May.
"I actually went to Downing Street this week and met Theresa May and she spoke very passionately about the British fashion industry and how that was important to Britain's economy so I think we're in good hands," said Webster at her Dreamgirls-meets-Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds presentation on Monday.
Beyond post-Brexit discussions, there were also also memorable runway moments that had people talking too: Burberry's first consumer-facing presentation, Anya Hindmarch's space-age circular venue, Donatella Versace's return to Versus Versace and Christopher Kane's ugly-chic Croc collaboration.
Check out what went down at LFW below.
Burberry may have been the first to announce its shift to the see-now, buy-now model, but the British fashion house wasn't the only one to get in on the action. Topshop and Temperley London by Alice Temperley hopped on board, too.
Topshop presented its '80s-themed Unique collection on Sunday at the Old Spitalfields Market in London, where Empire's Serayah McNeill, Ellie Goulding, Lottie Moss and Anais Gallagher (daughter of Oasis vocalist Noel Gallagher) sat front row. After the show, select pieces — a zebra-print leather jacket and pencil skirt, high-waisted trousers and lamé jumpsuit — became immediately available for purchase on-site and at Topshop.com.
While Burberry's entire collection is up for grabs and most of Topshop's September range is already available, designer Temperley kept it limited. She teamed up with social media platform Vero to sell three pieces from her romantic summer range: a printed dress (about $1187), embellished jumpsuit ($2250) and an embroidered top ($922).
"At Temperely London we are always looking at new ways of using social platforms to build closer connections with our Temperley London customers," said Temperley. "We are so excited about the possibilities with Vero and working together in the future where we will explore several exciting initiatives together."
In a strange turn of events, both Crocs and Ugg stole the spotlight on the London Fashion Week runways.
At the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi designers Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi sent models down the runway in a moody collection inspired by witchcraft. The co-designers and real-life partners, who are celebrating their label's 20th anniversary this year, also introduced an unexpected shoe collaboration.
Models stepped out in black or white leather flatforms, a limited-edition collab with Ugg Europe that will be available February 2017. Some included a crisscross strap that was folded into a bow while others were detailed with stitching on the strap. Too bad the classic Ugg boots weren't part of the lineup.
On Monday, Christopher Kane celebrated 10 years in the industry with a collection that drew from the "Make-Do and Mend" mindset that was publicized by the British Ministry of Information during World War II via a pamphlet that provided housewives with tips on staying frugal and stylish in times of harsh rationing.
He layered what he described as "road kill" furs over swiss lace and held homemade patterned dresses together with key rings. But it wasn't just the embellished clothes that had everyone's attention — it was the Crocs that appeared on every catwalker. The slip-on rubber clogs were each decorated with precious mineral stones. For better or worse, Crocs have gone high-fashion, people.
If there was an award up for coolest production set up during London Fashion Week, it'd no doubt go to Anya Hindmarch who presented a collection that stemmed from the circle, a shape she called "the most intriguing."
The show's floor plan was in the shape of — you guessed it — a circle that uncapped from the floor to unveil a set of stairs that would see models walking round and round to showcase Hindmarch's Neoprene coats, dresses and swimsuits in sorbet hues of lime green, powder pink and lemon chiffon.
Known for her quirky, tongue-in-cheek handbag designs, a business she's has built on since 1987, Hindmarch's latest offering showed a more calculated side to her craft. Each runway look and bag was detailed with intricate geometric shapes, made of leather, but done so "without any stitching," according to the show notes. "I like to think of this as the leatherwork equivalent of a mathematical equation." Problem solved.
Hozier once crooned, "Take Me to Church," and designers did just that this week.
Mother of Pearl, Simone Rocha, Huishan Zhang and Osman all showed their spring 2017 collections in various churches around the city.
Mother of Pearl creative director Amy Powney kicked off the week at Christ Church Spitalfields near the Old Spitalfields Market. The Anglican church, built in the early 1700s, served as the venue for her collection inspired by the leading ladies in the 1989 film series New York Stories. The pastel colored tweeds and pale denim with statement sleeves referenced Zoe Martinez (Heather McComb) in Francis Ford Coppola's Life Without Zoe, while Sadie Millstein's neat attire in Woody Allen's Oedipus Wrecks inspired prints and layering. The '80s-inspired range also had a seductive side, courtesy of Paulette in Martin Scorsese's Life Lessons, which inspired black bodycon dresses and loose oversized shirts.
For Simone Rocha, we headed to the south bank of the River Thames, to Southwark Cathedral.
Inspired by Jackie Nickerson's photographs of farm girls, as well as a painting called "The Catholic Girls" by the Irish artist William John Leech, Rocha's collection showed off her expertise with playful volumes. Communion dresses were deconstructed to create fanciful mixes of lace, tulle and sheer silk organza with puffed and knotted sleeves, oversize collars and uneven hemlines.
On Monday, Osman Yousefzada of Osman and Huishang Zhang (one of this season's rising stars) delivered their latest offerings at The Church House and St. Andrew's Church, respectively.
Yousefzada, whose creations have been worn by Emma Watson and Taylor Schilling, enlisted friends of the brand and models from the streets to showcase a collection dedicated to "the women in his life and how they wear clothes." Those looks included a playful riff on a gray suit with belted vest and ruffled pants, collared shirts in insect patterned brocades and billowy silk gowns. But the stand out was his use of tulle, both on the sleeves of a blazer, and on a voluminous layered cape.
Zhang looked to Maya Angelou's poetry, including lines from "Recovery" and "Phenomenal Woman" to dress his fierce females. The China-born, London-based designer showed romantic laces, ruffles and pastel florals, dotting some pieces with grommets for a tough touch. The show closed with a black sleeveless gown that outlined a woman's silhouette in pearls.
If orange was the winning hue at New York Fashion Week, then yellow reigned in London.
While Donatella Versace created an edgy leather look with the bright number, Emilia Wickstead opted for the sunny shade in the form of a v-neck silk gown. The mood-boosting color stood out again at Huishan Zhang and Erdem; Zhang paired his scallop-hemmed dress with a grommet-detailed choker and strappy pumps and designer Erdem Moralıoglu leaned toward the romantic side with a delicate lace dress that was detailed with bell sleeves and a ruffled hemline.
Mary Katrantzou and Topshop creative director Kate Phelan included pops of yellow, too. Katrantzou, whose collection paid homage to her hometown of Greece with a psychedelic twist, mixed a trippy yellow print with a bit of blue onto a long sleeve top and matching skirt. Phelan's bright double-slit slip dress was toned down with a black jacket and under shirt.
Yellow has never looked better — or more versatile.
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: Models on the runways of Topshop, left, Mary Katrantzou and Erdem. (Photos: Getty Images)